Collection of Lies: The Truth about our Bodies

Comfortable in my own skin.  I do not recall the day that I actually felt comfortable in my own skin.  I do not recall the day that I did not loathe going to my closet to pick out something “cute” to wear.  The day when I did not feel the fat on my stomach hanging over my jeans.  The day when my bra did not cut in to my “back wings”.  The day when I did not shift in my seat 50 times or pull my clothing away from my body.  But one day I woke up and did NONE of those things.  I was in fact, comfortable in my own skin!   I had achieved one of my primary fitness goals.  I didn’t care what the numbers on the scale said or what size jeans I was wearing…I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin.  I am sure there were some silent celebrations…there was happiness.  I probably went shopping and enjoyed walking in to my closet for the first time in years.   I remember going for a run and feeling lighter and that my body moved more efficiently.  I silently celebrated. That confidence bolstered my inner beauty.  I felt happy.   Then it happened.  A few quick months later my focus was suddenly drawn northward.  My eyes became fixated on areas of my face that I had never noticed before.  My face was in fact not only covered in cute adorable freckles, but was filled with an ever-increasing number of wrinkles.  What?  Where did THOSE come from?  I had never noticed them before?!  (Probably because I was so focused on my clothing discomfort!)  This shift was slow, but it became clear that my skin was annoying me.  Is this really happening?  Am I struggling with feeling beautiful because of lines on my face?  What were my options?  Unlike the change of lifestyle that I had undergone with food and exercise, a change that not only brought about confidence but also life long health benefits…this wrinkle thing was not going to be fixed without a surgeon or some serious botox.  It was at this point that I realized that if I wasn’t careful I could really move to a place where my body and an obsession with it could turn super sour super fast.  I was going to have to get comfortable in the skin I was in today with no significant surgery or other drastic measures because what would be next?? 
This leads in to the final “chapter” of lies that were shared among the women of my pods.  The lies women believe about their bodies and the truths that followed…
Beauty is defined by what size I am. 
You are beautiful right now.  Beauty is a combination of your internal (character, personality, passions, etc.) and your external (how you look and feel on the outside).   These two cannot be separated…they are interconnected.  When we train hard we are developing our external beauty AND our internal beauty.  When we push ourselves to exhaustion or accomplish something that seemed completely impossible we build our confidence.   Confidence is beautiful.   We build character when we develop discipline and commitment…a faithfulness to show up and not quit.  These are incredibly beautiful attribute.  When we allow God to change our character we are developing our internal and external beauty. 
I believe in a strong relationship between body, mind and spirit.  The more I focused on this, the more I found how interconnected they are.  The more that I focus on the internal beauty—the less I think about the external beauty.  Ironically, the more my body transforms the less I think about my body and the more I focus on the internals.   Barring sizes and numbers—the more you are transforming both internally and externally the more beautiful you feel and become.
Beauty comes in so many different packages, colors, sizes, inside and outside.  I remember Jenni once using the expression “skinny fat” for the traditionally skinny girl who eats terribly and couldn’t do 2 burpees to save her life.  She may be small but is nowhere near healthy or fit.  That makes me so aware of how size is such a poor indicator of health, beauty, or what really matters.
The number on the scale dictates my mood and how I eat that day. 
The scale is a poor indicator of our health and fitness levels, a terrible judge of our beauty, and an even worse director of our mood.  Don’t let the scale make you its bitch.  Our mood flows from the things we find our significance in.    You are valuable and significant, because you were wonderfully and beautifully made and you are loved by your creator.  
You are enslaved to a digital machine.  You want to own your body not let the machine own you.  You want to make food choices based on what is best to fuel your body not what a number tells you for that day.  You want to move your body regularly so that you can grow stronger, faster, healthier, not because a number tells you that you need to.  You are a STRONG, BEAUTIFUL and INTELLIGENT woman.  Do not let a scale replace your intellect and become the driver of your actions.  TAKE CONTROL and throw out your scale! 
Do not give so much power to a number on the scale. It is just a number and not a reflection of who you are as a person and who God created you to be.  It is important to eat balanced and healthy meals not matter what the number on the scale shows.
The number on the scale is a moving target.  Turn the scale over to Jenni. Go by how your feel…and if you have to find a measure…clothing fit is a better option. 
I will always have a little pudge around the edges. 
No you won’t.  It didn’t get there overnight so it won’t melt away overnight either.  It took regular and consistent behaviors for that “pudge” to get there, and it will take regular and consistent behavior to remove it.  It is easier to take off the first 10 pounds than it will be take off the last 10 pounds.
Every body is different and where your body holds on to fat is different.  Some of our body types have curves, some do not.  You need to know the difference between curves, your body type and “pudge”.  In the end, your body will continue to lose fat when you eat mindfully (often our nutrition is the difference maker in those places) and exercise the way we do in P.O.W.E.R.’s studio.
Give your pudge a purpose!  Put it to work–use your pudge as energy to run the bowl or do some squat jumps.  Use it up and let it be put to good use!  If anyone knows that transformation can happen and pudge can melt away, it’s you!  You have seen it happen time and time again in this gym!  Believe what you see and trust it for yourself…you’re not an exception to the rule!  Hard work and wise nutrition will have no place for that pudge..your body is a machine!!! 
I will never be at my desired weight. 
You have a bigger vision for your life…(clearly) as you are in the Inner Strength studio.  You recognize that doing the “same thing” may not have been working but you are pushing your body to its limits.  You are learning to do this at home as well as in the studio.  You are making mental shifts and striving to meet your demands.  You are shaking up your metabolism and strengthening your muscles…which inevitably will burn fat.  Your body composition will change as you continue to put on muscle and fire up your metabolism.   Commit to the process.  Do not hold the process and trust your trainer. 
The process of losing weight takes time.  We do not get there overnight.  Starving ourselves is not an option.   Our body and how we view it is key.  We are God’s temple…so our actions and reactions to our body need to be continually tempered with this in mind.   A mental shift is helpful…my body, God’s vessel, needs to be around for a long time to…long enough to chase grandchildren…my body God’s vessel needs be healthy and strong so I can be the best wife, mother, sister, friend, that I can be.  My body, God’s vessel, needs enjoy life to the fullest and not be focused on the vessel itself but the people and relationships that I cherish most.   You WILL get there…one day at a time…one burpee at a time…one small step at a time.
I will never be able to keep up this exercise regimen. 
You have worked so hard to not only get to where you are…you have been incredibly disciplined week in and week out to faithfully show up.  80% of the battle is showing up.  If you are not in pod, you will find a workout buddy, you will take your lunch break to walk with others, you will find a gym that caters to your comfort level and you will take all the things you have learned and do them.  Because you already have displayed an incredible amount of discipline and commitment—I do believe you have moved to a place of “defending” in your personal journey.   You are an inspiration and a new creation!
Would you ever consider saying I won’t be able to give up the routine of brushing my teeth daily, or taking a shower?  No, because we know these things are a priority to maintaining overall health.  Exercise is als as important if not more so than the time we take to wash and style our hair.  Once we reframe our priorities of where exercise falls in our life it’s a lot easier to keep up the routine. 
Jenni will tell us when we are ready to leave POD.  Trust Jenni.  When you are ready, you will have the tools needed to continue to defend & practice this exercise regimen.
“I applied my heart to what I observed
And learned a lesson from what I saw.”
Proverbs 24:32
I encourage you to pray the following prayer “Lord, thank You that I am never finished learning.  I pray that my heart will be supple and open to whatever teacher You put in my path.” 
I believe that I am unlovable.  So, why should I care if I’m fat?
 First, you are lovable.  There is a quote somewhere that says “Someone in this world loves you more than you can ever imagine.”  THAT is true.  Your tunnel vision of WHO YOU ARE has blinded you to seeing your true self worth.  I know what it’s like to be fat too, and I can remember living under the LIE that because I was fat, I, too, was unlovable.  My dear friend, we are so wrong.  Yes, the extra pounds are a part of us, but they do NOT define us.  The extra pounds are optional, they WILL go away with a little bit of commitment and surrendering to the process that Janine is walking through with us—the beauty inside of you is unshakable!  Say something nice about yourself today.  Tell someone something that you really like about you!  Pick out a feature that you’re thankful for.  Reflect on why other people love you so much…and please stop selling yourself short!  I love you just because I can!
😦 Would you let someone speak to a friend or family member this way? No way! No one would. It’s not okay to give your internal voice this kind of negative power in your life. Whenever I hear one of my children say something negative such as, “I hate my  handwriting!” or “I’m a terrible singer.” or anything else of the like I always tell them, “Don’t talk to my baby that way! Be nice!” It’s hard to be objective about ourselves but it’s so vital that the one voice that always chimes in – that little one in our head – is only allowed to come in peace! Be kind to you. Encourage you. Believe in you. 
Listen, whoever made you believe you’re unlovable was cruel. Whoever gave you this twisted truth about you was wrong! You’re lovable. And you deserve to feel good about yourself – whether heavy or thin. You deserve a new belief. 
Being comfortable in my own skin took hours and hours of discipline, great nutrition, and hard work in the gym.  It also took a mental shift to believe that I am more focused on what my body can do than what number a scale tells me I am.  It also meant celebrating the mile markers of a life spent laughing and telling animated stories.  (Isn’t that the source of all of these lines on my face?)  It means celebrating the journey and the mile markers along the way like child birth and breastfeeding which brings about 3 beautiful children, stretch marks, and a less perky chest.  It means celebrating what society does not…a body that has lived life.  A body that is weathered and worn through the ins and outs of this life.  It also takes a recognition that I will ALWAYS ALWAYS, ALWAYS be able to pick apart my body and find another thing to fixate on…or I can focus on the parts worth celebrating.  Yesterday at Starbucks a woman in her late 60s kept eyeing me.  I wondered what in the world she was looking at and she had a rude look on her face.  Finally I got my latte and got out of her line of fire; as I passed I smiled and said hello.  She said,  slightly under breathe but also slightly embarrassed that I had caught her staring, “I was just admiring how good you look in those jeans.”  I need to get my focus off whatever part of my body that I am annoyed with this week and celebrate the jeans that fit great.  Celebrate the sprints that I do with my kids.  Celebrate the low cholesterol score that I just received.  Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  
We miss it ladies.  We can make a choice to spend our WHOLE LIVES believing lies about our bodies.  We must STOP today and take our focus OFF of what we HATE and be ever so THANKFUL for what we HAVE !   We need to let go of the strongholds and demons that tell us we are ugly and will never amount to anything.  We need to fix our minds on truth.  Surround yourself with positive people who aren’t obsessed with the exterior, but who value the interior of our lives.  
Who is a woman in your life that is comfortable in her skin?  What do you admire about her?  What are the things that your body can do?  What are the things that should be celebrated as mile markers in your life?   
“The greatest lie on the planet is that we believe we will be happy when we get what we want.”  That is like trying to fill a bottomless cup.  True contentment starts with attitudes and actions shifting now.  True contentment starts by figuring out the secrets of those around us who are comfortable in their own skin.  True contentment comes from  knowing we are an incredible creation…worth far more than this world could ever imagine. 

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